Catching Aflame: A Review of “How to Set Yourself on Fire” by Julia Dixon Evans

When I first met Julia Dixon Evans, I was struck by her dedication and commitment to her craft. Having worked with her as both as a writer and an editor (for States of Terror Vol.1 and The Radvocate magazine, respectively), she is a rare combination of talent, persistence and creativity. She has organized vast efforts around writing and her community, which has led to some of her excellent work to be featured on countless websites and publications. She has helped […]

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A Dodo, An Ambulance Driver, and James K. Polk Walk Into a Book: Ben Loory’s “Tales of Falling and Flying” Reviewed

In the midst of some routine tagging in Instagram, I stumbled upon a unique hashtag for Ben Loory. Most authors have quite a few posts under the hashtag of their own name, sometimes with the title of their most famous/recent book alongside it, accompanying pictures of bookstore readings or well-filtered shelving arrangements. Ben was the only one I ever tried to tag with a name that brings up an actual phrase as a hashtag: “#benloorystoriesarebeautiful”. I’m sure there are probably […]

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November Rain: A Review of “The Sarah Book” by Scott McClanahan

On the day I finished reading Scott McClanahan’s The Sarah Book, I watched a sullen man push a corpse on a blue velvet-draped gurney into the back of a Honda Odyssey. Thankfully I didn’t know the dead person – I just happened to be near the loading dock of a hospital, where this is apparently a common occurrence. A janitor told me how hearses and undertakers are expensive and people rarely go to the trouble to hire them to transport […]

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The Failure of Daedalus: A Review of “Patricide” by D. Foy

  One thing that stuck with me around the time of the release of Patricide was the author, D. Foy, claiming that the book “almost killed him.” I have to admit that the first thing I thought was “bullshit.” It seemed like just the kind of overly dramatic claim an author would make to puff up his latest release. Not that I wasn’t expecting quality – I loved the hyper-psychedelia of his novel Made to Break from Two Dollar Radio […]

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Baiting the Hook of the Uncanny: A Review of Meredith Alling’s “Sing the Song”

Opening lines can make or break entire novels. Meredith Alling has taken this kind of thinking to heart, as evidenced in the first sentence of her story, “Ancient Ham”: “Once a year the Ancient Ham crawls out of the sewer to sit on a curb and answer questions.” Already the reader intuits that Alling has a deep understanding of flash fiction and knows how to hook readers like Steelheads in spawning season. This lies at the heart of Sing the […]

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